The scene looked like a winter driver’s worst nightmare: As the season’s first major snowstorm blanketed the Capital Region on the evening of December 2, a bus and truck collided on I-90 eastbound in Canaan, New York, about 20 miles southeast of Albany. Both lanes on the Berkshire Spur were closed as emergency responders hurried to the scene to tend to potential crash victims; the bus was carrying nearly 30 passengers.

Fortunately, it appears that any injuries sustained by passengers were relatively minor and not life-threatening.

Similarly, injuries sustained by four passengers in a bus crash in Maine on December 10 appear to be relatively minor. That bus was traveling from Proctors Theatre in Schenectady to Orono, Maine, and likely was carrying members of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, who had just performed A Christmas Carol at Proctors and were scheduled for another performance in Orono. The driver apparently fell asleep before the bus left the roadway and rolled over.

Large vehicle crashes are increasing

Unfortunately, crashes involving large vehicles are a significant—and growing—safety concern on America’s roads and highways. According to statistics compiled annually (most recently in 2017) by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks, buses, and other large transport vehicles such as limousines involved in fatal and injury crashes has been on an upward trend since 2009.

One of the most recent and highly publicized crashes was the limousine crash in Schoharie in October 2018, which killed 17 passengers on their way to a birthday party in Cooperstown, as well as the limo driver, and two pedestrians who were in the parking lot of a popular country store the limo barreled through after its brakes failed at a stop sign. The limousine company’s insurer has offered a mere $500,000 to be divided up amongst the 20 families of those who were killed, which was the total of the insurance policy that was in effect at the time of the crash. Given then insignificant offer, attorneys for the victims’ estates—including George LaMarche of LaMarche Safranko Law—have been pursing other avenues of compensation.

LaMarche is representing the estate of Amanda Halse of Fort Ann, one of 17 friends who died in the crash. The estate is suing Shahed and Nauman Hussain, principals in Prestige Limousine Company, for negligence and wrongful death, and LaMarche has successfully petitioned Judge Thomas Buchanan to maintain a temporary order blocking the Hussain family from selling several properties it owns in the Capital Region. LaMarche argues that the Hussains are trying to sell off assets that potentially could be seized to satisfy future judgments, and transfer the funds to Pakistan, where Shahed is living.

The Hussains, LaMarche wrote in a court filing, “have reason to frustrate any potential recovery of the Petitioner and other victims by moving the proceeds of any real estate and/or business sale outside of the United States to Pakistan or another foreign location.”

Lawyers, including LaMarche, are also suing Mavis Discount Tire, Inc., who allegedly inspected a vehicle it did not have authority to inspect, issued an inspection sticker despite significant defects with the vehicle, and then claimed to have performed service and repairs on the vehicle that it didn’t actually perform, all of which contributed to the crash and the “physical, emotional and mental pain, including pain and suffering and significant pre-impact terror and death” suffered by the 20 victims of this crash.

Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Generally, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help crash victims or their estates navigate the law’s confusing questions, including, whether the insurance obligation falls on their own carrier or that of the bus, truck or limousine company or whether there is another party, such as a repair facility that is responsible for causing the crash.  And there are many other questions such as – What is my claim worth? or How long will it take to recover damages in a lawsuit?

If you or a loved one are injured in a crash involving a bus, limo, or other large vehicle, an experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the steps and ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. LaMarche Safranko Law is headquartered in Albany, New York, and represents clients in personal injury cases throughout New York state.  Call us at (518) 982-0770 or contact us.